Browse Prior Art Database

(RSS) Indirect Point-Of-Sale Device Association through Web Applications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000031315D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Sep-21
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Sep-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Pervasive devices will define a new experience for retail shopping. However, the thin clients typically used for these pervasive devices are not typically well adapted for the demands of driving POS I/O devices. In addition, the more functionality encapsulated into a client (I/O drivers, enabling middleware, etc), the more expensive individual devices become and the more difficult the device becomes to manage. There appear to be two primary methods of incorporating pervasive devices into the retail experience: 1. Provide expensive, mobile, full featured devices with custom applications 2. Provide thin clients with web interfaces and limited POS functionality (e.g. "Shopping Buddy"+Bluetooth scanner) This publication purposes a new standard means by which personal thin clients (e.g. PDAs, cell phones, etc) can be utilized during the retail experience.

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(RSS) Indirect Point-Of-Sale Device Association through Web Applications

     This publication proposes a method by which POS I/O can be completely isolated from clients transparently utilizing POS functionality. It aims to allow any web enabled client, even personal devices, to interact in the retail experience. In other words, the POS devices/infrastructure can be acquired on demand only when they are needed to perform the necessary transactions. The benefits of this approach are primarily:

     - Ability to provide extremely thin, front end devices (POS terminals, kiosks, etc). A functional web browser would be the only requirement of these devices.

     - All POS devices (ideally) are driven by a single server or "dumb" hubs - Seamless integration of a vast array of consumer devices (PDAs, cell phones) that have web browsers

     - Easier integration of "shopping buddy" devices without today's challenges of associating with and driving POS I/O. "Shopping Buddy" devices can be reduced to a 802.11b enabled display (i.e. no PC hardware, OS, etc).

     - "Floating" POS I/O devices can be reassociated and reused at any terminal instantly

     - Because no direct association is required, device communication can be carried out through more than one route. For example, a Bluetooth scanner could be configured to dynamically associate with any "shopping buddy" device in communication range to transport the scanner data back to the server. At the server, the data would be used as part of a transaction for the indirectly associated device (not necessarily the device that transports the data).

     The core idea proposed is an indirect association of POS devices and the clients they service. Current implementations, over a variety of media (wired, wireless, Bluetooth), directly associate with the POS I/O devices they use. This is unnecessary and costly.

     Use case: Consumer PDA used for shopping buddy - A customer enters a retail store with a web enabled PDA - The user points the PDA browser to the store's shopping homepage - The user picks up a store provided 802.11b wireless POS scanner - The user indirectly associates with the scanner. This can be accomplished in a var...